I have here a Neo Geo Pocket Color (AKA NGPC) and an old Gravis Gamepad Pro. The Gravis has excellent button placement and feels great in the hand, but the d-pads on them always sucked because back in the day Nintendo still had a patent on the good kind. Well, as it turns out, there was one directional input which was still better than a cross-shaped d-pad, and that’s the clicky thumbstick on the NGPC. It’s amazing, and is the only thumb-control I’ve ever liked for shmups or fighting games, because you can actually pull off a dragon-punch move without breaking your thumbs. IMO, the thumb stick of the NGPC was the very best part of the whole system.
So I’m transplanting the thumb stick into the Gravis, and converting the whole thing to bluetooth.
Bluefruit EZ-Key – 12 Input Bluetooth HID Keyboard Controller – v1.2 – Create your own wireless Bluetooth keyboard controller in an hour with the Bluefruit EZ-Key: it’s the fastest, easiest and bestest Bluetooth controller. We spent years learning how to develop our own custom Bluetooth firmware, and coupled with our own BT module hardware, we’ve created the most Maker-friendly wireless you can get! (read more)
Diff is a small device that monitors the internal events stream of The New York Times and prints out a summary each time an active headline is changed. As it runs, it generates a long stream of changes printed on thermal paper: text that was removed from a headline is rendered as inverted, while additions to a headline are underlined.
Add a mini printer to any microcontroller project with this very cute thermal printer. Thermal printers are also known as receipt printers, they’re what you get when you go to the ATM or grocery store. Now you can embed a little printer of your own into an enclosure. This printer is ideal for interfacing with a microcontroller, you simply need a 3.3V-5V TTL serial output from your microcontroller to print text, barcodes, bitmap graphics, even a QR code!
Add a floppy drive to your setup! This tutorial from Alan Page of virtualfloppy will show you how to bring that old school look and feel to your computer. Retro is soooo in again.
The Catweasel is an add-on card for the PC which allows reading TRS-80 floppy disks. It works by emulating a floppy disk controller using a combination of hardware and software. At the very start of the current project I believed that similar functionality would be possible by reversing the input and output signals and connecting a TRS-80 floppy drive to the interface board. Just recently I have succeeded in doing this.
The interface board plugs into the top of the Raspberry Pi and the floppy card edge connector plugs into the TRS-80 floppy disk drive. The logic analyzer plug is for testing and development only and is not required for operation.
The interface board sits on top of the Pi during use. It is about the same size as the Raspberry Pi. No PC or Mac is required as this is a complete standalone computer system…
This is a great starter project from TheFreeElectron via Instructables. This tutorial is perfect for someone just starting out with their Pi.
The Raspberry Pi is an amazing 35 dollars mini-computer. It allows you to do everything you could do with a regular Linux computer (Connecting to the internet, watching videos, launching applications, …) but also to interact with the world surrounding it, just like an Arduino. That’s why I qualify it as a mix between a computer and a micro-controller.
That’s also why I chose it for this project. I’m going to show you how to control LEDs with your Raspberry Pi. Firstly directly from the Raspberry Pi itself, then from any device in your house like your Smartphone or your tablet…
Candy is an important part of Halloween! However, eating all that candy can lead to cavities. Make brushing fun this Halloween by creating your own electric toothbrush! All you need is a toothbrush, rubber bands, a wooden block, and littleBits! This toothbrush also has a programmable timer so you can decide how long to brush your teeth for (the American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth two times a day for two minutes). Show that sweet tooth who’s boss this Halloween.
Back in 2010 I made a series of illustrations featuring incandescent bulbs. Since the light bulb is the symbol for the birth of an idea, I played on this visually for a while, using them in place of blades of grass, flowers, and the like.
Like my delta robot army, this project was inspired by these ‘idea’ illustrations from the past. I have always wanted to make a bouquet of light bulbs that was portable, and finally with the right materials and a little push from my friend… I sat down this week and made it happen.
As anyone who has worked away from wired urban areas will know, it can be hard to get connected and stay online. And yet the equipment used to get online in say Kenya, India or the rest of the developing world is the same as you’d use in London or New York, even though the conditions are totally different.
This is what motivated the team at Ushahidi in Nairobi to solve that problem for the world they live in – Africa. The BRCK is a physically robust, back up generator for the internet and was successfully funded through Kickstarter over the summer.
We loved the project so we got in touch with them to say so. Their reply was awesome.
Erik, from the team, said “I can’t tell you how much we love sugru. We had a joke during the early prototyping that BRCK was a connectivity device made entirely out of love, kapton tape, and sugru! We’ve used it in every prototype for little fixes to 3D prints that arrived chipped, adjustments, mounts and making whole buttons.”
Now how cool is that?! Check out their Kickstarter page for loads more on the project.
I’ve been listening to a really great podcast lately called No Quarter. It’s all about remembering and reliving classic arcade games, of the sort us folks-of-a-certain-age grew up with. If you’ve never played Dig Dug or Space Invaders in a smoke-filled, dimly-lit room with purple carpet, blacklights, and a creepy dude shifting pot in the corner, then you don’t know what I’m talking about. Also, get off my lawn.
The boys at No Quarter have rekindled my love of those games, but to play them properly you need the right equipment. Rather like a samurai making her own sword, this is something of a right of passage for people who want to play these old games The Right Way™. Namely, building a control panel. I wanted something clean, fairly compact, but beefy enough to play most games from 1970 up through about 1993. Here’s what I came up with.
A seven minute time lapse showing the complete build of my Orrery. I designed and built this Orrery over the course of ten months. An Orrery is a working model of the motion of planets through our solar system.
Our first Trinket project to be posted! This simple beats-per-minute calculator demonstrates the sort of small, focused task for which the Adafruit Trinket is ideal. We also learn some of the unique challenges of this tiny processor.
BPM counters are used by DJs, musicians and dancers who want to measure tempo…but can also be used for estimating heart rate, RPM of mechanical devices and other cyclical phenomena.
When presented with a vintage Empisal Knitmaster knitting machine, members of the TOG Dublin Hackerspace worked together to not only bring it back from the dead but to also add some custom hardware that allows for computer generated patterns.
At first the Knitmaster was in fairly bad shape requiring a few custom machined parts just to function. It was originally designed to feed in special punch cards that mechanically directed the many moving parts of the machine (called “dibblers”) to knit patterns in yarn. Using an Arduino, a number of servos, and a microswitch to detect when the knitting carriage is pulled across, this card-read system was replaced with a computer controlled mechanism that can direct the machine to print out images one row at a time.
Of course, you don’t get too many opportunities to name your project something as cute as “The Twitter Knitter”, so once the system was working, it was only a matter of writing some code to snatch tweets from the web and generate images out of the text. Visitors of the Dublin Mini Maker Faire got to watch it in action as they posted tweets with a particular hashtag which the machine happily printed in yarn (as long as they weren’t too long).
The Gesture Recognition Toolkit (GRT) is a cross-platform, open-source, c++ machine learning library that has been specifically designed for real-time gesture recognition.
The GRT has been designed to:
be easy to use and integrate into your existing c++ projects
be compatible with any type of sensor or data input
be easy to rapidly train with your own gestures
be easy to extend and adapt with your own custom processing or feature extraction algorithms (if needed)
The GRT features a large number of algorithms that can be used to:
recognize static postures (such as if a user has their hands in a specific posture or if a device fitted with an accelerometer is being held in a distinct orientation)
recognize dynamic temporal gestures (such as a swipe or tap gesture)
perform regression (i.e. continually map an input signal to an output signal, such as mapping the angle of a user’s hands to the angle a steering wheel should be turned in a driving game)
Teensy 3.0 + header – Teensy 3.0 is a small, breadboard-friendly development board designed by Paul Stoffregen and PJRC. Teensy 3.0 will bring a low-cost 32 bit ARM Cortex-M4 platform to hobbyists, students and engineers, using an adapted version of the Arduino IDE (Teensyduino) or programming directly in C language. (read more)